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The student needs to post 2 replies of at least 250 words for each thread students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, etc.
Reply 1 – Karen
While I understand the Church’s position on the tension being discussed regarding the relationship between psychology and Christianity, I’m not sure that I would agree this tension poses a problem from an educational perspective. Perhaps, as discussed throughout this course and in Johnson’s (2010) text, the relationship poses a problem for the Church. However, as far as educational purposes are concerned, I don’t believe the tension should be seen in a negative light or a negative perspective. I consider respectful discussions regarding opposing or dissimilar viewpoints constructive and always encourage further discussion. I consider the various viewpoints and opposing discussions as opportunities to move God’s message forward and to determine the next calling He has planned for us. These differing viewpoints, also referred to as tension, allow our beliefs to morph into advanced and more evolutionary viewpoints. From there, new information is incurred, further research is conducted, and new information is disseminated into the universe for ongoing scrutiny and discussion. This new information allows us to test our current theologies and advance our scientific knowledge and understanding (Johnson, 2010).
Viewing my research as a calling to share the Gospel does not change my view of the tension between the science of psychology and Christianity. My Gospel is most likely different from another individual also studying psychology in this program. I say this because I don’t believe every viewpoint is the same and whether that viewpoint holds a biblical standpoint. I believe each individual contribution is as important as the next.
I believe the calling is for Christians, as well as all individuals of all religions, to move forward the message which God has created and intended for us individually and as a society. Only God knows what messages he has intended for us as we go through our lives. Only until we live our lives to the fullest will we know exactly what His particular plan consists of. I believe God’s intention has already been determined and that His plan for each of us will move forward the message He has intended for us to disperse with regards to the relationship between psychology and Christianity. I also believe this intention will be clear as to exactly how we as psychologists go about moving that message forward. It doesn’t matter which specific research area we choose; God has already put forth his plan and His plan will develop alongside the plan in which He has determined for everyone else (Wolters, 2005).
I believe the Gospel message of the restoration of humankind matters to my research area, but my Gospel message is not alone. As previously stated, I believe each one of us has a Gospel message which is determined by God and intended by Him to be disseminated how He sees fit. In other words, we each have a calling to move forward however we see fit. We bring with our calling, our own personal means to which that message is passed along to humankind. Additionally, all our messages have an impact on the way in which we restore humankind. My contributions will have various impacts which other messages do not and visa versa. I believe all our Gospel messages are created equal and one is not more or less important than another.
Johnson, E. L. (2010). Psychology and Christianity Five Views, 2nd Edition. IVP Academic and CAPS.
Wolters, Albert M. (2005). Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview,
2nd Edition. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Reply 2 – Leah
Wolters (2005) stated that “the gospel is the source of our life and the means by which we interpret our place in the world.” In answering the questions this week, it is vital to start with the gospel. In summation, the gospel is the good news that Jesus came to earth, died, and rose again to pay the debt for our sin, and has brought the restorative kingdom of God to earth. As a disciple of Jesus, I am personally called to continue bringing the kingdom of God to earth until Jesus returns. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (NIV, 2011) that we have been given the “ministry of reconciliation.” This is where I want to start both personally and professionally. Personally, I know that I can be faulted for being more confrontational in sharing about faith. Yet as I study the Bible and apologetics I realize how I need to have compassion and work to bring reconciliation to people who have not yet seen the light. I have the benefit of growing up in a Christian home and always knowing about God. Even when I was a prodigal I did not stop believing in God. Others have not had this experience and may simply lack knowledge about God. What I take for granted as knowledge, is something others may simply be unaware of or have even been exposed to false information about Christianity. Therefore, in my personal life I want to be more mindful of having a spirit of reconciliation rather than confrontation to help win more souls for Christ.
In my professional life, the same lesson can be applied. My research interests currently are in sexuality, and particularly LGBT issues. This is one area where my faith and the world collide in ideas and values. While the world appears to be embracing all identities, my faith tells me that God made us male and female and it was good (Genesis 1, NIV, 2011). This is where the ministry of reconciliation can apply. While some have called me hateful or transphobic or other names because of my beliefs, my desire is to see all people live whole lives. I am interested in restoration, while all they choose to see from me is hatred because of my refusal to accept various identities or orientations. I hope that entering the professional world of psychology I can continue to open up conversation with the secular realm of psychology and share the truth of Christ regarding sexuality and explain that the gospel is all about restoration.
Finally, Wolters (2005) notes that sometimes the gospel is misunderstood as being saved from creation rather than the salvation of creation. I admit I have fallen into this misunderstanding at times. However, in viewing the tension between Christianity and psychology considering the calling of the gospel, psychology is not something to be saved from, but rather something that can be saved and restored. As several authors in Johnson’s (2010) text note, the Bible is full of psychological truth, though it may not match our present-day psychological language. In restoring psychology, we can study it in a way that brings it back to its creational design. The kingdom of God applies to all of creation (Wolters, 2005); therefore, psychology is under the Lordship of Jesus. This perspective aids me in seeing psychology as something structurally good, but that has been directionally misused by sinful humanity. I also see less tension, and less need for tension, as I view it considering the ministry of the gospel of restoration. As a Christian I can enter the professional realm of psychology and share reconciliation and restoration through Christ.
Johnson, E.L. (2010). Psychology and Christianity: Five Views (2nd ed.) (Johnson, E.L., Ed.). InterVarsity Press.
New International Version Bible. (2011). The NIV Bible. https://www.thenivbible.com (Links to an external site.)(Original work published 1978)
Wolters, A.M. (2005). Creation regained: Biblical basics for a reformational worldview (2nd ed.). Wm. B, Eerdmans Publishing Co.